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Bock Museum

Richard W. Bock Sculpture Museum

The Richard W. Bock Sculpture Museum is home to over 300 sculptures created by Bock, a renowned sculptor, and two original architectural drawings by Frank Lloyd Wright. The museum also features the historic Almira House Period Room from the mid-1850s. 

Visiting the museum
Visitors are advised to contact the museum director at 618-664-6724 and follow the museum hours prompts or schedule a tour. The museum is housed in the Almira College House on Greenville University's campus, at 315 E. College Ave, Greenville, IL 62249. 

 

Watch a short video about the museum

Produced by City of Greenville, in Greenville, Illinois.

 
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Bock's Unique Career

Bock embarked on his sculpting journey in Chicago in 1891, following his education in Berlin and Paris. His talents garnered numerous commissions, spanning from World's Fairs to adorning buildings across the United States. For a ten-year period beginning in 1903, Bock worked almost exclusively with Frank Lloyd Wright contributing to a fountain project and crafting architectural models for Wright's iconic Unity Temple.

 

Museum Beginnings

The museum's collection began when Dr. Donald P. Hallmark, a former art history professor at Greenville College [University], learned that Bock's children had kept his works in storage for many years after his passing in 1949. Several years later, in 1972, the Bock Sculpture Collection was given to the University by Bock's children, with the condition that the works be permanently exhibited.

The museum officially opened to the public in the fall of 1975 and is located in the Almira College House. The Almira College, which was built in 1855 and is the oldest building at Greenville University. It now houses the Richard W. Bock Museum, over 300 plaster and bronze sculptures, drawings, maquettes, photographs by Richard W. Bock, and the Almira College Period Room. Several other items designed by Wright are in the collection, including a rectilinear oak table and a leaded stained glass window.

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FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Richard W. Bock Museum. 

Was Richard Bock a student or teacher at Greenville University?

No. The connection is that a former art professor at Greenville College, now University, learned that Bock's children had stored his works after his passing. Several years later, the Bock's children donated the works to the college, stipulating that the works be permanently exhibited.

Where is the Richard W. Bock Museum located?

The museum is located on Greenville University's Campus next to Delbert A. Simms Student Union. Contact museum director at 618-664-6724 and follow the prompts for museum hours or to schedule a tour.

The physical address is located at 219 E. College Ave, Greenville, IL 62246.

Frank Loyd Wright Connection


In 1895, following his success in another national sculpture competition, Richard Bock completed two significant projects: the Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument in Alton, Illinois, and a bronze group in Chickamauga, Georgia. As the 19th century drew to a close, he undertook the creation of all the sculptures for the expansive Machinery and Electricity Building at the 1898 Omaha World's Fair and contributed to the pediments of Omaha's new Burlington Railroad Station.

Around this time, Frank Lloyd Wright reached out to Bock, inviting him to craft several sculptures for Wright's Oak Park residence and various architectural commissions. Their collaboration, which spanned from 1903 to 1913, solidified a deep friendship, with their families often sharing time together.

The museum proudly showcases artifacts and sculptures linked to the enduring partnership between Bock and Frank Lloyd Wright, highlighting their remarkable creative bond.

Almira College History

In 1855, Almira College was founded as a Christian liberal arts college for women. It was named after Almira Blanchard Morse. Almira was the primary investor, through her family inheritance, and co-founder, with her husband Stephen Morse and their friend John Brown White.

In 1892 the Free Methodist Central Conference purchased the administration building and all the furniture and furnishings and renamed it Greenville College [University].

Almira College House is the oldest building on the Greenville University campus.

The Collection and GU Professor Donald P. Hallmark

In 1929, Richard W. Bock became head of the University of Oregon's Sculpture Department. He retired in 1932 and later passed away in 1949.

Former Greenville University art history professor, Dr. Donald P. Hallmark, learned that after Bock's death (1949), his children Dorathi (Bock) Pierre and Thorwald Methven “Thor” Bock kept all his works in storage hoping to fulfill their father's dream of his works being displayed. Many of the pieces had been in storage since 1932.

His children donated the Bock Sculpure Collection to Greenville College, now Greenville University in 1972 on the condition the works be placed permanently on exhibition. After agreeing on the terms, Hallmark then brought the first pieces from Los Angeles, CA to Greenville, IL. Several works were cataloged, cleaned, and restored under Hallmark's direction, along with his wife Linda, the art department, and volunteers.

The last major shipment of art objects arrived at Greenville College in early 1975 and the museum opened its doors to the public later in the fall.

The museum consists of numerous plaster and bronze sculptures, numerous drawings, mockettes, and original photographs all executed by the American Sculptor Richard W. Bock (1865-1949). In addition to the sculptures made by Bock, the museum has numerous items in the Frank Lloyd Wright Room associated with the working collaboration between Bock and the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Bock worked the longest of any sculptor with Wright.

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